Capture the beauty of summer flowers by picking a few to press and preserve for later use in winter crafts. Even a couple of flowering stems will give you plenty of material if you press each bloom individually. Picking garden flowers doesn’t harm the plant, in fact it often means more new blooms will form as it delays the plant , but taking too much at once and being rough can spoil a garden display.
To press flowers for craft work, use the best-looking ones that have just opened and pick them on a dry day. Younger children can just pluck the flowers but older children can be given pruners to cut the flowers. Pretty cards and collages can be made just with the flower heads; or grasses or leaves, there is no need for long stems unless you want to dry flowers for arranging. In that case, the bunches need to be hung upside down in a warm, dry, dark place with good air circulation. You can buy or make a flower press by using a large heavy book.
Step 1: Begin by preparing your flower. Remove any unwanted leaves and lay flat on parchment paper.
Step 2: Open the book and place absorbent paper on the book’s pages. Large books like dictionaries and phone books work best for this because they are heavy and have many pages you can use. Make sure you choose a book that you don’t mind getting damaged. There is a chance that the water from the flower may cause the book pages to wrinkle.
Step 3: Position the blooms face down on parchment paper. Carefully close the book, making sure not to move the flowers.
Step 4: Place more books or other weighty objects on top of the book. Keep in a place that is out of the way and not likely to be knocked into.
Step 5: Let the flowers sit for 3-4 weeks. The longer you press the flowers, the less water will be left in them. Give them two to three weeks before removing them from the book. If they don’t have a papery feel, change out the parchment paper and let them sit for longer.
Once you’ve created your pressed flowers, you can put them on display!
Annuals for cut flowers
Sweet peas are a good flower to choose for summer picking. They are sown from seed in autumn or spring. If you pick regularly the flowers will keep blooming.
Cornflowers, particularly blue varieties, are great for drying and using in winter arrangements.
Ammi majus has a white flower with light airy structure that is grown from seed. It provides a light frothy feel to flower arrangements.
Roses come in all different colors to choose from, and these are easy to find in your local grocery store already in flower arrangement bouquets to take home.
It’s important that you are using the correct flowers so that you get the best results. Some of this will be trial and error, but following these rules will help. Try choosing a variety of focal flowers and greenery and filler flowers for a unique look. Follow our next blog that will be posted Wednesday 8/18/2021: DIY botanical print